Thought for the Day – 20 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread”
“In the second part of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask the universal Father, on behalf of ourselves and of our brethren, for all things necessary for soul and body. Since we have already paid homage to God, our Creator and our Redeemer and, have prayed for the triumph of His kingdom and for the accomplishment of His will in Heaven and on earth, Our Lord does not forbid us to think now of ourselves and to pray for our own needs. “Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask, intending to pray, both for our spiritual and material requirements.
We should not delude ourselves into imagining that it is we who produce the fruits of the earth. A grain of wheat dies beneath the soil but God has infused into it, a mysterious force as a result of which, in dying, it generates new life.
The moisture of the soil, the warmth of the air and the light of the sun combine to develop this mysterious life-force, which produces the green stalk and then the flaxen ear of corn which provides us with bread. It is God Who has given this vital power to this tiny seed, as well as to all the other seeds of the soil. It is He Who has endowed the soil with the nutritive elements from which the seeds draw life and it is He, Who sends the dew, the rain and the sunshine, which cause the flowers to blossom and the plants to bear fruit.
We should ask God humbly, therefore, to “give us this day our daily bread.” Our own labours would be futile without the intervention of the all-powerful Creator. We are capable, neither of producing, nor of destroying a single atom nor a single seedling. Without God, we are incapable of achieving anything, either inthe natural or in the supernatural order. Therefore, we must ask Him to provide us with what we need. He is supremely good and loves us very much. His Providence will not leave us in want, even if we are often obliged to work hard in co-operation with Him to procure the necessaries of life. The birds have no granary, yet they manage to find enough seed to keep them alive because God is watching over them. How could we suppose, that He will not look after us, if we turn to Him with trust and perseverance?”
Our Morning Offering – 15 October – Thursday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time – The Memorial of St Thecla of Kitzengen OSB (Died c 790) Missionary apostle with St Boniface
Eternal God, Our Refuge By St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany”
Eternal God, the refuge and help of all Your children, we praise You for all You have given us, for all You have done for us, for all that You are to us. In our weakness, You are strength, in our darkness, You are light, in our sorrow, You are comfort and peace. We cannot number Your blessings, we cannot declare Your love. For all Your blessings, we bless You. May we live as in Your presence, and love the things that You love, and serve You in our daily lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
“By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes” … Matthew 21:42
REFLECTION – “Christ has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:18) Saint Paul thus brings out the greatness of the apostles, by showing us the ministry that was entrusted to them and at the same time, he shows us the love with which God loved us. After people refused to listen to Him who had been sent to them, God did not let His anger burst forth, He did not reject them. He persisted in calling them to Himself through the apostles. Who would not marvel at so much solicitude?
They killed the Son who had come to reconcile them, who was the only Son and of the same nature as the Father. The Father did not turn away from the murderers, He did not say: “I sent them my Son, and they, not satisfied with not having listened to Him, put Him to death and crucified Him. So now, it is only just that I abandon them.” He did the opposite. And after Christ had left earth, it is we, His ministers, who have the responsibility to replace Him. “He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. I mean that God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s transgressions against them.”
What love! going beyond all words and intelligence! Who was it had been insulted? God Himself! And who takes the first step towards reconciliation? He Himself (…) If God had wanted to make us give an account, we would truly be lost since “all died” (2 Cor 5:14). But in spite of our many sins, He did not strike with His vengeance but He even reconciled us to Himself. Not satisfied with taking away our debt, He even considered it to be nothing. In the same way, we have to forgive our enemies if we ourselves want to obtain this generous forgiveness: “He has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) Father and Doctor – Homily 11 on the Second Letter to the Corinthians, 4-5
PRAYER – All highest, glorious God, cast Your light into the darkness of our hearts, give us true faith, firm hope, perfect charity and profound humility, so that with wisdom, courage and perception, O Lord, we may do what is truly Your holy will. Amen. By St Francis of Assisi
One Minute Reflection – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Apocalypse (Revelation) 12:7-12, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, Gospel: John 1:47-51
“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and it’s angels fought back …” … Apocalypse 12:7
REFLECTION – “We must not think that the devil and his angels dared to fight in heaven, since he could not even tempt Job without God’s permission. Rather by “heaven” he quite manifestly indicates the Church, where each one of the faithful constantly contends against spiritual evils. Therefore, the apostle says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers and against the world rulers of this present darkness.”
And so he says here, that Michael with his angels fights against the devil because by praying according to the will of God, for the Church in this world and, by granting her his aid, he is properly understood to be fighting for her. And so the apostle says, “Are not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” Indeed, the name of Michael himself is interpreted to mean “the helper of God” and so, this work is properly assigned to him. Also Daniel said, that in the last distress, [Michael] would come for the succour of the church: “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who stands for the children of your people. And there shall be a time, such as has never been since the nations first began to be. And in that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.” The angels are said to be his by a certain manner of speaking, such as we read, “For their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
And so it speaks of those who, by believing, began to be citizens in Christ and thus are His angels, because they are regarded as protected by one guardian king and as made glad by one life-giving spirit. The devil and his angels are not only those who are similar to him in nature and will. They are also as men, who after being caught in his traps, became pursuers of such things. Indeed, because of the qualities of his wil,l it is said about the devil, “An evil man has done this” and about Judas, “[One of you] is a devil.” The devil is said to express himself by way of a twofold body. When he is conquered, he is said to be thrown out by those who have renounced him and have received faith in Christ and so no longer copy his errors. Rather, in them “love [remains] from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” Or, since the Church is already separated from any admixture of evil and is glorified by the future blessedness, no place is given to the devil and to his angels to seduce the evil, or to tempt the good. The psalm refers to him and says, “I passed by and lo! he was not and I sought him, but his place was not found.” … Primasius of Hadrumetum Bishop (Died c 560) – Commentary on the Apocalypse, 12
NOTE:Primasius (died c 560) was Bishop of Hadrumetum and primate of Byzacena, in Africa. One of the participants in the Three Chapters Controversy, his commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation), is of interest to modern scholars for it’s use of the lost commentary of Ticonius on the same book of the New Testament.
PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us. Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life. Grant that the angels who always minister to You in heaven may defend us during our life on earth and protect us from evil. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen
Thought for the Day – 18 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Filial and Servile Fear
“We should not be afraid of God because He is our greatest benefactor and loves us infinitely. When we are lost, He searches for us as a loving father would search for a wandering son. Because they think only of the majesty and justice of God, some people keep themselves at a distance from Him, as Adam did, after he had sinned. They forget that the Lord told Adam, the sinner, of the coming of the pardoning Redeemer (Gen 3:9). Bossuet truly observes, that “after the curse which came upon men through sin, there has always remained in their hearts, a certain dread of the supernatural, which prevents them from approaching God with confidence.” Jansenism increased this fear, emphasising the justice and majesty of God, rather, than the infinite love of Jesus and the beauty of His teaching.
Some writers compare our souls with the divine majesty and justice, in order to stress our unworthiness but, they forget, that Jesus is “Meek and humble of heart,” that He forgave the penitent woman, the good thief and the adulteress and, had kind words for the lost sheep and the prodigal son. They never think of the wonderful words of the beloved disciple: “God is love” (1 Jn 4:16).
This false fear of God, dries up our piety and lessens our trust in His mercy. It can lead to moroseness, to scrupulosity and to discouragement.
We should avoid this excessive fear which separates us from God. Even though we are sinful and unworthy, we should remember, that God is our loving Father, Who is always ready to help us and to grant us forgiveness. We should recall, moreover, that out of love for us, He did not spare His own Son, (Cf Rom 8:32) but gave Him to us for our redemption. If Jesus shed His blood and died for us, how can we doubt His love?”
Thought for the Day – 10 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“God is infinitely perfect in Himself and has, therefore, no need of creatures of His eternal happiness. He knows Himself fully and this act of knowing, is not transient but substantial and eternal. It is the perfct image of His own Essence, the Word which expressed His Divine Infinity.
Knowing Himself in the infinite depths of His truth, beauty and goodness, God naturally loves Himself. This love, also substantial and external, is the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds, not only from the Father but also from the Word, since God loves Himself because He knows Himself perfectly. The happiness of God, as St Gregory Nazianzen writes, is not a solitary state of beatitude. He has within Himself, the Word, His consubstantial Son, in Whom is reflected the perfection of His nature and to Whom, He repeats from eternity: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you” (Ps 2:7). Moreover, in an act equally substantial and infinite, He pours forth His love, the Holy Spirit. Because, He is infinitely happy and perfect in Himself, God wished to manifest His perfection and to communicate His happiness to others. According to St Thomas Aquinas, the only reason why God has created, is to manifest His glory and to share His happiness. Creation is, therefore, an act of love. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore, have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee” (Jer 31:3). “God,” says St Irenaeus, “did not create man because He had need of him but because, He wished to have creatures on whom He could shower His gifts.” That is why Sacred Scripture tells us that “the Lord has made everything for His own ends” (Prov 16:4).
Turning over these reflections in our minds, we should make an act of profound humility before God and acknowledge that we are nothing without Him. We should express our deep gratitude to God for our very existence and for all the other gifts with which He has enriched us.
Finally, we should pay Him the tribute of our love, which should be expressed in a practical manner, as well as verbally, by complete and constant fidelity to His commandments.”
Thought for the Day – 6 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
How to Remain Aware of the Presence of God
“It is useful to consider the ways in which we can develop a constant and effective awareness of the presence of God.
The first way in which we can do this, is by cultivating a lively faith, which will help us to see God everywhere. “Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord?” (Jer 23:24).
This kind of faith should deepen our sense of God’s presence and inspire in us sentiments of love and gratitude, which will guide us in all our actions.
We cannot expect that we shall be able to remain in a state of constant contemplation of God, for this is the privilege enjoyed by the blessed in Heaven, for whom faith has been replaced by the Beatific Vision.
We must be satisfied with exciting in ourselves, as often as possible, the active awareness of God’s presence.
This should be a quiet and peaceful process, not involving undue mental effort or anxiety.
We should be able to attend quite naturally to our work and other obligations and, we should be helped and consoled in this, by directing our thoughts to God from time to time, in order to offer ourselves to Him.
This can easily be done by means of frequent ejaculatory prayer, by renewing, at regular intervals, our intention of doing everything for the love of God and by being prepared to endure, in complete acceptance of the Divine Will, all the hardships and trials of the day.
Whenever it is possible moreover, we should escape from the care and confusion of the world into a quiet church.
Here we can kneel in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist and express, in intimate prayer, our love for Him and our desire to serve Him.”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – The Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Doctor of the Church
“Bonaventure so united holiness and theological knowledge that he rose to the heights of mysticism, while remaining a very active preacher and teacher, one beloved by all who met him. To know him was to love him; to read him is still for us today to meet a true Franciscan and a gentleman.”
“If you learn everything, except Christ, you learn nothing. If you learn nothing, except Christ, you learn everything.”
“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard, more than the proceedings, from the mouth.”
“Men do not fear a powerful hostile army, as the powers of hell, fear the name and protection of Mary.”
“If you do not know your own dignity and condition, you cannot value anything at its proper worth.”
“In everything, whether it is a thing sensed, or a thing known, God Himself is hidden within.”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Seraphic Doctor of the Church
Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)
“It is time now for us to rise from sleep!”
“Listen and attend with the ear of your heart.”
“He should know, that whoever undertakes, the government of souls, must prepare himself to account for them.”
“There exists an evil fervour, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell. Similarly, there is a good fervour, which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life.”
“For at all times we must so serve Him with the good things He has given us, that He may not, as an angry Father, disinherit His children, nor as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil deeds, deliver us to everlasting punishment as wicked servants who refuse to follow Him to glory.”
“He, who labours as he prays, lifts his heart to God, with his hands.”
Thought for the Day – 6 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Ladder Ascending to God
“Nature shows forth the power and beauty of God.
When we gaze at the sky on a clear night, countless millions of stars seem to look back at us like so many shining eyes, wishing to remind us of God’s greatness.
These brilliant pin-points of light are really immense bodies, often much larger than our own globe.
God created them and flung them into space, where He fixed for them, the orbits which they must travel every year, throughout the ages.
They carry out their Creator’s plan at every moment, never deflecting, in the slightest, from their course.
If they were to do so, the result would be an universal catastrophe.
Everything in the firmament obeys God’s law. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork” (Ps 18:2).
The further science advances, the more wonderful appear God’s power and greatness.
Our ancestors wove legends about the bright belt of stars which ploughed it’s milky way through the firmament but, today we know, that this apparent conglomeration of gleaming dust, consists of other worlds and faraway systems of planets.
We should feel humble in the presence of so much beauty and harmony.
Let us adore and love the omnipotent Creator of such wonders!”
Thought for the Day – 4 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The New Life
“Only a Christian,” wrote Tertullian, “can be wise, sincere and lofty” (De praescriptione haereticorum, 3).
He had in mind, of course, the true follower of Jesus Christ, who is practising the precepts of Our Lord. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with they whole heart ... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mt 22:37, MK 12:30, Lk 10:27). “You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
A man who loves God above all things, can fairly be called wise.
God is the supreme good and as such, should be the final end towards which we direct all our thoughts and actions.
If anyone adopts his own ego or some created good as his goal in life, he is not wise because he has upset the proper scale of values.
It is not true to say that we should love ourselves before anything else because we are creatures who belong to God and should refer everything to Him.
Only if we love God above all things, even above ourselves, can we really be said to love ourselves.
How can we love ourselves, if, in the first place, we do not love our highest good, which is God?
Since this love must be active, it makes us faithful to God’s commandments and raises us above the rest of creation to a state of immediate dependence on God.
A love of all mankind flows as a natural consequence from this union of love with God.
If we regard all men as our brothers in Jesus Christ, we shall be perfect Christians in the manner intended by our divine Redeemer when He desires us to be like His heavenly Father.
This is the new life which Jesus came to bring into the world and which we should nurture in ourselves (Cf Heb 4:23-24).”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Memorial of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani ECMC (1476-1528) – Monk, Hermit and Founder of the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona
“The supreme goal to which the monk tends, the summit of the perfection of his heart, is indeed the union of his heart with his Lord.”
St John Cassian (c 360-435)
Monk, Father of the Church and Founder of Monasteries Disciple of St John Chrysostom
“O Hermitage, only those who know you, who rest sweetly in your arms, can tell of your grandeur and chant your praises. As for me, I only know this and affirm it in all sincerity – Whoever forces himself with perseverance to enter more and more into the desire to love You, will finally enter Your mystery and, at the same time, the mystery of God.”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072)
Doctor of the Church
“Go to Church for the work of God, not by habit or duty, but rather driven, by the interior desire to praise our Creator.”
“Celebrate holy Mass in the joy of the Spirit.”
“I desire to serve my Lord Jesus Christ. However, I blindly entrust the manner of service to His decision – in action or in contemplation, in peace and quiet or in suffering and tribulation, in the quiet of the cell or else in wearisome wanderings. So long as I am serving Him, I have no preference or taste of my own.”
“To me it appears incontrovertible, that, above the light and discourse of reason, there is another light. It is clearer and more evident, given by God to those human minds that do not refuse to receive it and by means of it, God can be properly understood. …. This is the light of faith.“
Prayer of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani “Lord, I dare not say to You: “Show me the light that I may believe in Your Light” but it is enough for me, that You make me see my darkness … Bring me back to myself. In my misery I have distanced myself not only from You but from myself, becoming a stranger to myself. Make me know my darkness, that then I may look at the light. Yes, I tell You and repeat to You incessantly, Show me to myself, so that I may know my sins.”
“Until I was alone I never really lived. Until I was alone, I was not with myself. Until I was alone, I never drew near to my creator.”
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – 19 June
May we all be abundantly Blessed today by the Sacred and Loving Heart of Jesus May we all grow closer and closer to the Sacred Heart, the source of all Love!
A little (actually, a lot! – please take the time to read it) of the History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart
In the 13th century, the Franciscan Doctor of the Church (1217-1274) – “The Seraphic Doctor,” St Bonaventure’s work “With You is the Source of Life” (which is the reading for the Divine Office on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart) began to point to the heart as the fountain from which God’s love poured into our lives:
“Take thought now, redeemed man and consider how great and worthy is He who hangs on the cross for you. His death brings the dead to life but at His passing, heaven and earth are plunged into mourning and hard rocks are split asunder. It was a divine decree that permitted one of the soldiers to open His sacred side with a lance. This was done so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as He slept the sleep of death on the cross and so that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced.’ The blood and water, which poured out at that moment, were the price of our salvation. Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord’s Heart as from a fountain, this stream, gave the Sacraments of the Church, the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ, it became a spring of living water welling up to life everlasting.”
The Devotion Spreads Slowly
At the end of the 13th century, St Gertrude the Great, on the feast of St John the Evangelist, had a vision in which she was allowed to rest her head near the wound in the Saviour’s side. She heard the beating of the Divine Heart and asked John if, on the night of the Last Supper, he too had felt this beating heart, why then had he never spoken of the fact. John replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need to rekindle its love.
From that time until the time of St John Eudes Orat. (1501-1680), the devotion continued to spread, primarily as a private devotion but one that was increasingly wide-spread. Many religious orders prayed the devotion – the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Carmelites of Spain and the Benedictines.
Let us now consider the key ideas which motivated St John Eudes in his great love for the Sacred Heart, so that by understanding them “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that being rooted and grounded in love, you may have the power with all the saints to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God “(Eph 3, 17-19). Two interrelated thoughts overwhelmed St John Eudes, first:
“The Sacred Heart of Jesus, whether considered in His Divinity or in His humanity, is more ardently enkindled with love for His Father, loving Him infinitely more at any given moment, than all the hearts of angels and saints can love Him throughout all eternity.”
The second thought which rejoiced the heart of St John Eudes expands on the first:
[Jesus, the Son of God] “willed to be our Head and chose us as His members. He has associated us with Himself in His ineffable love [for the Father]. He has given us, as a result, the power to love the Father with the [very] same love with which He loves [the Father], with a love eternal, boundless and infinite.”
St John Eudes discerned eight different flames of love, which issue from our Lord’s Heart in the Tabernacle, which are freely adapted here to our present needs (definitely a post soon). St Pope Pius X declared him, the Father, Doctor and Apostle of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Devotion Renewed: St Marguerite Marie Alacoque VHM (1647-1690)
In the late 17th century the devotion was renewed and adopted elsewhere, especially following the revelations to St Marguerite Marie Alacoque. The saint, a cloistered nun of the Visitation Order, received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27 December 1673 and the final one 18 months later. The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a “Holy hour” on Thursdays and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Initially discouraged in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in her visions, Alacoque was eventually able to convince her superior of the authenticity of her visions. She was unable, however, to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her own community. She eventually received the support of St Claude de la Colombière SJ (1641-1682), the community’s confessor, who declared that the visions were genuine. Alacoque’s short devotional writing, La Devotion au Sacré-Coeur de Jesus (Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), was published posthumously in 1698. Here is an excerpt:
“And He [Christ] showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure Him, all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which His heart is the source.”
The devotion was fostered by the Jesuits and Franciscans but it was not until the 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor by Pope Pius XI that the Church validated the credibility of Alacoque’s visions of Jesus Christ in having “promised her [Alacoque] that all those who rendered this honour to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces.”
The World Consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Maria Droste zu Vischering, was a German noble women, who at the age of 25 joined the congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, in Munster. She was given the name, BlSr Mary of the Divine Heart. In 1894, at the age of 31, she was transferred to Portugal and appointed superior of Oporto, Portugal. While there, she reported some messages from Jesus Christ in which she was asked to contact the Holy Father, requesting the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
On 10 June 1898, her Confessor at the Good Shepherd monastery wrote to Pope Leo XIII stating that Sister Mary of the Divine Heart had received a message from Christ, requesting the Holy Father to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart. The Pope initially did not believe her and took no action. However, on 6 January 1899 she wrote another letter, asking that in addition to the consecration, the first Fridays of the month be observed in honour of the Sacred Heart. In the letter she also referred to the recent illness of the Pope and stated that Christ, had assured her, that Pope Leo XIII would live until he had performed the consecration to the Sacred Heart.
Pope Leo XIII commissioned an inquiry on the basis of her revelation and Church tradition. In his 1899 encyclical letter Annum Sacrum, Leo XIII decreed that the Consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on 11 June 1899. Here is the consecration Pope Leo composed for the consecration:
“Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine and Thine we wish to be but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us, freely consecrates himself today, to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee, many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only, of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee but also, of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour, may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm, give peace and order to all nations and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: ‘Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation, to it be glory and honour forever.’” Amen
The 100th Anniversary of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
In a landmark encyclical, Haurietis aquas (“You will draw waters”– written 15 May 1956) Venerable Pope Pius XII began his reflection by drawing from Isaiah 12:3, a verse which alludes to the abundance of the supernatural graces which flow from the heart of Christ. Haurietis aquas called the whole Church, to recognise the Sacred Heart as an important dimension of Christian spirituality. Pope Pius XII gave two reasons why the Church gives the highest form of worship to the Heart of Jesus. The first rests on the principle whereby the believers recognise that Jesus’ Heart is hypostatically united to the “Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself.” The second reason is derived from the fact, that the Heart, is the natural sign and symbol of Jesus’ boundless love for humans . The encyclical recalls that for human souls the wound in Christ’s side and the marks left by the nails have been “the chief sign and symbol of that love” that ever more incisively shaped their life from within.
In a letter on 15 May 2006 Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “By encouraging devotion to the Heart of Jesus, the Encyclical Haurietis aquas exhorted believers to open themselves to the mystery of God and of His love and to allow themselves to be transformed by it. After 50 years, it is still a fitting task for Christians to continue to deepen their relationship with the Heart of Jesus, in such a way, as to revive their faith in the saving love of God and to welcome Him ever better into their lives.”
As the encyclical states, from this source, the heart of Jesus, originates the true knowledge of Jesus Christ and a deeper experience of His love. Thus, according to Pope Benedict XVI, we will be able to understand better what it means to know God’s love in Jesus Christ, to experience Him, keeping our gaze fixed on Him to the point that we live entirely on the experience of His love, so that we can subsequently witness to it to others.
Sadly, today, The League of the Sacred Heart founded in Ireland in the year of grace 1873, has fallen into obscurity, though, I know that in certain countries across the world, it is being revived. Below is a 14 minute video explaining the resuscitation of the League and the institution in America. The League however, still exists in a few isolated countries and we NEED, in these awful times, to revive it, wherever we are.
A great usurpation has taken place in the Church by the Divine Mercy Devotion – I know there are devotees of this latter Devotion on the site but if you would wish to educate yourself further in this regard, please go to the Youtube Channel – Ascent of Mount Carmel, where you will find lots of research on this subject. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcOObC8wjuxJjx6rBSiKo2A/videos
The Sacred Heart is knocking at the door of our heart. Will we open the door for Him? Will we make a commitment in devotion to serve Him with greater zeal and fidelity? Will we let Him in? The choice is now ours. Those who want to grow, know where the Sacred Heart is waiting for the response of their love and they know how to imitate His love in their daily life. Let us resume all that has been said with a final thought from St John Eudes: “The Son of God gives us His Heart not only to be the model and rule of our life but also to be our heart, so that by the gift of this Heart, immense, infinite and eternal, we may fulfil all our duties to God in a manner worthy of His infinite perfections. [Thus] we have received from our Divine Saviour, the gift of His adorable Heart, which is the perfect means of fulfilling all our duties. We should employ the Sacred Heart as if it were our own heart, to adore God fittingly, to love Him perfectly, and to satisfy all our obligations adequately so that our homage and love may be worthy of His supreme majesty. Eternal and infinite thanks be rendered to Thee, O Good Jesus, for the infinitely precious gift of Thy divine Heart. May all the angels, saints and all creatures bless Thee forever!
Let us Pray: Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart
Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayers to the Sacred Heart – The League of the Sacred Heart 1936 – 15th Edition, Dublin
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, filled with infinite love, broken by our ingratitude and pierced by our sins, yet loving us still, accept the Consecration we make to Thee, of all that we are and all that we have. Take every faculty of our souls and bodies, only day by day draw us, nearer and nearer to Thy Sacred Heart, and there, as we shall hear the lesson, teach us Thy Holy Way. Amen
Thought for the Day – 18 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Belonging Entirely to God
“Willing or unwilling, we belong entirely to God.
God created us from nothing and all that we have is His – soul and body, material and spiritual gifts and the world in which we live.
God has given us everything and, at any moment, He can take away the life which He gave us.
It is useless, indeed senseless, to rebel against Him, or to try and release ourselves from His absolute dominion.
Admittedly, He has given us free will and we can disobey and offend him but, even if we do so, we still belong completely to God and He has absolute power over us.
He has created us for Himself alone, for He is the final goal of all things.
We can never escape from His authority.
Do we rebel and hurl towards God, the cry of Satan: “I will not serve?”
Even if we do, whether we are in sin, or in the depths of hell, we still belong to Him.
We shall have to bear eternal witness to His infinite love and mercy, as well as, to His infinite justice.
We have been created for God’s glory and God is glorified, both in His goodness and in His justice.
We should meditate deeply, on this tremendous concept.
How much better it is for us to belong wholly to God in love and in obedience, than in the chastisement of His justice.
How much better it is, to obey and serve Him as our Sovereign Lord, to honour Him, as our Father and to love Him, as the Spouse of our souls.
All our thoughts and desires should, therefore, be directed to Him and all our plans and actions, should be offered to Him.
If we are attached to worldly possessions and persons, if we are vain and ambitious and, if we yield to our passionate inclinations, our hearts do not belong completely to God.
We are guilty of theft, if we do not offer our hearts entirely to God because, they are entirely His!
Moreover, we do ourselves a grave injury because, we can find nothing but disillusionment in the love of creatures and in the satisfaction of our senses.
God alone, can fully satisfy our hearts, which were made for Him alone.”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 June – Thursday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 48:1-14 (1-15), Psalm 97:1-7, Matthew 6:7-15
“Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen”
“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us. To ask the Father in words His Son has given us, to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognise the words of His Son. Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips. We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father, when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins, let us use the words given by our Advocate. He tells us – Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make, in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”
“As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we ask: Give us this day our daily bread. We can understand this petition in a spiritual and in a literal sense. For in the divine plan both senses may help toward our salvation. For Christ is the Bread of Life; this Bread does not belong to everyone but is ours alone. When we say, our Father, we understand that he is the Father of those who know Him and believe in Him. In the same way, we speak of our daily bread, because Christ is the Bread of those who touch His body.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr
An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”
“For the author and giver of divine blessings could not but be our teacher as well, providing the words of this prayer, as precepts of life, for those disciples who believe in Him and follow the way He taught in the flesh. Through these words, He has revealed the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3) that exist in Him as pure form. And, in all who offer this prayer, He kindles the desire to enjoy such treasures.”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian
Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer
“You see, my children, the Christian’s treasure is not on earth, it is in heaven (Mt 6:20). So our thinking must go to where our treasure is. The human person has a beautiful task, to pray and to love. You pray, you love – that is the human being’s happiness on earth.”
“Prayer is nothing other than union with God. … This union of God with his little creature is something beautiful. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. We had deserved not to pray but God, in His goodness, allows us to speak to Him. Our prayer is incense, which He receives with tremendous pleasure.”
St John-Marie Vianney (1786-1859)
Catechism on Prayer]
“Father, hallowed be thy name.”
“I have an instinct within me, which leads me to rise and go to my Father, to name the Name of His well-beloved Son and having named it, to place myself, unreservedly in His hands, saying “if Thou, Lord, will mark iniquity, Lord, who shall stand it? For with Thee, there is merciful forgiveness.”
St John Henry Newman
To My Father
“God sees us always, for He is everywhere. …He sees clearly, everything which we think, desire or do, even our most secret hidden actions. Do we perfectly grasp this tremendous truth? Are we aware of it, at every moment of our lives and do we make it the guide for our conduct? If we were to live continually in the Presence of God, our lives would be angelic, rather than human, for we would not allow ourselves to commit even the slightest sin, nor to be guilty of the least thought, word or action, which might offend Him. The more we fail in our awareness of the Presence of God, the more disordered our actions become.”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 21:17-29, Psalm 51:3-6, 11, 16, Matthew 5:43-48
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people but, you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord”
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
“So hold fast to the sweet and salutary bond of love, without which, the rich are poor and with which the poor are rich. What do the rich possess if not charity? … And since “God is love,” (1 Jn 4:8) as John the evangelist says, what can the poor lack, if they merit to possess God by means of charity? … So love, dearest brethren and hold fast to charity without which, no-one will ever see God.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
Monk and Bishop
Sermons addressed to the people, no. 23, 3
“We must show love for those who do evil to us and pray for them. Nothing is dearer or more pleasing to God than this.”
St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303-1373)
“… I declare to you, that there is no other way of salvation than the one followed by Christians. Since this way teaches me to forgive my enemies and all who have offended me, I willingly forgive the king and all those who have desired my death. And I pray that they will obtain the desire of Christian Baptism.”
St Paul Miki SJ (1564-1597) Martyr
“All our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone – for the good and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich and for all those who do us harm, as much as those who do us good.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)
“When we talk about the coming of the Kingdom and pray for its coming, we are not thinking of a discrimination according to race or blood but of the brotherhood of all, for all men are our brothers – not excluding even those who hate and attack us – in a close bond with the One, who causes the sun to rise on the good and the bad alike (Mt 5:45).”
Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) Martyr
“Let us love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for Those who persecute us. For love will conquer and will endure for all eternity. And happy are they who live and die in God’s love.”
Blessed Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943)
“Called-up to a Higher Order”
Martyr of Conscientious Objection
One Minute Reflection – 7 June – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Readings: Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9, Psalm Daniel 3:220.127.116.11.56, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, John 3:16-18
“Whoever believes in him … might have eternal life” … John 3:16
REFLECTION – “Fools! … how is it that you can’t stop your prying investigations into the Trinity or be content to believe it exists, since you have for your guide the apostle who wrote: “Anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6). (…) So let no-one put unnecessary questions to himself but, be content with learning what is contained in Scripture.
… Scripture tells us that the Father is both Source and Light: “They have forsaken me, the source of living waters” (Jer 2:13); “You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom” (Ba 3:12) and, according to John, “God is light” (1Jn 1:5). Now the Son, is called a river, in relation to the source for, according to the psalm, “the river of God is full of water” (Ps 65:10). And in relation to the Light, He is called splendour, when Paul says that he is “the refulgence of his glory and the very imprint of his being” (Heb 1:3). Thus the Father is Light, the Son it’s refulgence… and, in the Son, it is by the Spirit that we are illuminated. “May God give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation,” says Paul, “resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened” (Eph 1:17-18). But, when we are enlightened, it is Christ who enlightens us in Him, for Scripture says: “He was the true light who enlightens everyone coming into the world” (Jn 1:9). Moreover, since the Father is Source and the Son is called River, we are said to drink of the Spirit: “We were all given to drink of one Spirit” (1Cor 12:13). But, refreshed by the Spirit, we drink Christ since: “They drank from a spiritual rock that followed them and the rock was the Christ” (1Cor 10:4). (…)
God alone is wise and the Son His wisdom, for “Christ is the power and the wisdom of God” (Rm 16:27; 1 Cor 1:24). So, it is in receiving the Spirit of wisdom, that we possess the Son and gain wisdom in Him. … The Son is Life. He said: “I am the Life” (Jn 14:6). But, it is said, that we are brought to life by the Spirit, as Paul wrote: “The one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in us” (Rm 8:11). But when we have been brought to life by the Spirit, then Christ will be our life … “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
When such a correspondence and unity exists in the Holy Trinity, who can separate either the Son from the Father, or the Spirit from the Son or the Father? … God’s mystery is not communicated to our minds by demonstrative arguments but, by faith and reverent prayer.” … St Athanasius (295-373) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church – Letters to Serapion, no.1, 19
PRAYER – Firmly I Believe and Truly – St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Firmly I believe and truly God is three and God is On And I next acknowledge duly Manhood taken by the Son. And I trust and hope most fully In that Manhood crucified And each thought and deed unruly Do to death, as He has died. Simply to His grace and wholly Light and life and strength belong And I love, supremely, solely, Him the holy, Him the strong.
And I hold in veneration, For the love of Him alone, Holy Church, as His creation, And her teachings, as His own. And I take with joy whatever Now besets me, pain or fear And with a strong will I sever All the ties which bind me here. Adoration aye be given, With and through the angelic host, To the God of earth and heaven, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
One Minute Reflection – 23 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 18: 23-28, Psalms 47: 2-3, 8-9, 10, John 16: 23-28
“Until now you have not asked anything in my name, ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. … For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me.” … John 16:24,27
REFLECTION – “You see, my children, the Christian’s treasure is not on earth, it is in heaven (Mt 6:20). So our thinking must go to where our treasure is. The human person has a beautiful task, to pray and to love. You pray, you love – that is the human being’s happiness on earth.
Prayer is nothing other than union with God. When our heart is pure and united with God, we feel within ourselves a balm, an intoxicating sweetness, a dazzling light. In this intimate union, God and the human person are like two pieces of wax that have melted together, you can no longer separate them. This union of God with his little creature is something beautiful. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. We had deserved not to pray but God in His goodness allows us to speak to Him. Our prayer is incense, which He receives with tremendous pleasure.
My children, your heart is small but prayer expands it and makes it able to love God. Prayer is a foretaste of heaven, an outflowing of paradise. It never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey, which descends into the soul and sweetens everything. Sorrows melt in a prayer, that is well prayed, like snow in the sun.” … St John-Mary Vianney (1786-1859) – Catechism on Prayer
PRAYER – – Since it is from You, God our Father, that redemption comes to us, Your adopted children, look with favour on the family You love, hear our prayer as we unite our voices in the name of Your Son, our Lord and Redeemer. May our faith, love and joy in Christ bring us all alike to our eternal heritage and may the prayer of His blessed Mother and ours lead us safely home. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, loving Father, forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98:1-4, John 14:7-14
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
” God does not leave us groping in the dark. He has shown Himself to us as a man. In His greatness, He has let Himself become small.”
“What is Faith?
First, faith is simple. We believe in God – in God, who is the Beginning and End of human life. We believe in a God, who enters into a relationship with us human beings, who is our origin and our future. Consequently, faith is, always and inseparably, hope – the certainty that we have a future and will not end up as nothing. And faith is love, since God’s love is “contagious”. This is the first thing – we simply believe in God and this brings with it, hope and love.”
Thought for the Day – 30 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Presence of God
“God sees us always, for He is everywhere. “In Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)
We did not exist and He produced us from nothing, by His omnipotence.
If He did not support us continually, we should return to nothingness, for conservation is a continuous act of creation.
But He has given us immortal souls and has created us for Himself, so that we may serve, enjoy and love Him for all eternity.
We are always in His Presence.
He sees clearly, everything which we think, desire or do, even our most secret hidden actions.
Do we perfectly grasp this tremendous truth?
Are we aware of it, at every moment of our lives and do we make it the guide for our conduct?
If we were to live continually in the Presence of God, our lives would be angelic, rather than human, for we would not allow ourselves to commit even the slightest sin, nor to be guilty of the least thought, word or action, which might offend Him.
The more we fail in our awareness of the Presence of God, the more disordered our actions become.
Let us resolve, therefore, to live continually in the Presence of God and to direct all our thoughts, desires and actions towards Him.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father, who is in heaven…”
“O my God and my Father, may I know You and make You known, love You and make You loved, serve You and make You served, praise You and make all creatures praise You.”
St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)
Founder of the Claretians
It is certain, however, that of the two thieves dying beside the Cross of our Redeemer, only one heard Him say: “This day, you will be with me in Paradise!” The other, remained obdurate in his sin. It is the height of stupidity, to wait to be converted, at the hour of death!”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The greatest freedom, is the freedom from the fear of death, when we know Who sent us and to Whom we must return.”
Msgr Alex Rebello CMF Claretian Priest Diocese of Wrexham, Wales
Thought for the Day – 26 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Why God Created Us
“God is infinitely happy in Himself from all eternity.
He contemplates His own Essence, which contains evey beauty and perfection.
In the inconceivable joy of this contemplation, He generates the substantial image of Himself, which is the Eternal Word, “the brightness of his glory and the image of his substance.” (Heb 1:3)
When He contemplates Himself, in the the Eternal Word, He naturally loves Himself.
This substantial and infinite Love, proceeds from God, as an eternal principle, insofar, as He knows Himself and thence, proceeds from the Father, Who contemplates and the Word, Who is contemplated.
In this mysterious circle of the divine life, God enjoys an eternal, infinite and perfect happiness.
Consequently, He is not in need of anything.
Nevertheless, He wishes to radiate even outside of Himself, the splendour of His power, beauty and goodness.
He created the world and placed man in it, as the sovereign being.
Unfortunately, sin came to disturb our being and to deprive us of the splendour of divine grace and, in this way, it weakened the sovereignty, which God had given us over all other creatures.
But Jesus, the Eternal Word made man, has raised us once more to the supreme dignity of sons of God and heirs of Heaven.
These reflections should arouse immense gratitude to God on our part, because, He gave us life and made us masters of the universe.
They should also make us deeply grateful to Jesus, because, in His infinite mercy, He raised us up after we had fallen and redeemed us, with His own Precious Blood.”
One Minute Reflection – 26 March – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Exodus 32:7-14, Psalms 106:19-23, John 5:31-47 and the Blessed Maddalena Caterina Morano (1847-1908)
“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”… John 5:46-47
REFLECTION – “In the beginning, the Lord, who had created humankind, used to talk to man Himself, in such a way, that man could hear Him. That is how He used to talk to Adam (…) and, later, with Noah and Abraham. So too, even when humankind had thrown itself into the abyss of sin, God did not break His relationship with them, even though it was, necessarily, less familiar since they had made themselves unworthy of it. He consented to renew His kindly feelings towards them, although, as by letters, as with an absent friend. Thus, in His goodness, He could bind all humankind to Himself again. Moses was he, who was the bearer of the letters God sent us.
Let us open these letters – what are their first words? “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Isn’t that wonderful? … Moses, who came into the world many centuries afterwards, was truly inspired from above, to give us an account of the wonders God made at the world’s creation…. Doesn’t he appear to tell us clearly: “Did men teach me what I’m about to make known? Not at all. The Creator alone, who wrought all these marvels, is the One who guides my tongue, to teach you them. From now on, I beg you, put to silence every argument of human reasoning. Don’t just listen to this account as though it were only Moses’ word. It is God Himself who speaks to you, Moses is only His interpreter.” …
So, brethren, let us receive the Word of God with thankful and humble hearts. … For God is He, who created all things, He it is, who prepares everything and sets it wisely in order. … He it is, who leads man by what can be seen, to a knowledge of the Creator of the universe. He it is, who teaches man to contemplate the supreme Worker in His works, in such a way, that He might be able to worship His Creator.” … Saint John Chrysostom (347-407) – Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor of the Church – 2nd Homily on Genesis
PRAYER – Father almighty, grant us Your good grace to trust completely in the Word made Flesh whom You sent to lead us to our heavenly home and save us from our evil ways. As we proceed by penance and prayer, grant us now, perseverance in listening to Him and learning from Him. May the prayers of Bl Maddalena, assist us on our journey. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 14 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Early Hours of the Day
“Waking up in the morning, is like being raised to life again.
Sleep, which is necessary for the restoration of energy, is an image of death.
During those hours of sleep, it was as if you did not exist any longer.
Your mind was unconscious, your limbs inactive.
Now God gives you life once more and the strength to live it.
Your first thoughts, therefore, should be directed towards Him.
When the sun rises, all creation sings hymns of praise to God.
The flowers shake the night-dew from their petals and send up their perfume to their Creator.
The birds drawing their heads from beneath their warm wings, sing their morning canticles.
Now, man is master of the universe.
Therefore, he should gather together, these perfumes and these voices and offer them to God, along with the homage and adoration of his whole being.”
Thought for the Day – 9 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Use of Creatures
“God has created all things for Himself, as He is the most perfect being and the final end of all things.
He has made man supreme in the world, however and has made all other creatures subject to him (Cf Gen 1:28)
This God-given supremacy over the universe continues, even after the fall of Adam.
It can no longer be exercised without trouble and suffering, as it was in the state of innocence, however.
Now, it must be acquired, by hard manual labour and by keen intellectual research and study.
After man’s disobedience to God, even the relationship which existed between him and created things was disturbed.
But these things are still a ladder which leads to God, if they are properly used.
They are a distant reflection of His beauty and omnipotence.
“The heavens,” says the Psalmist, “declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork” (Ps 18:2).
Let us listen to the voice of creation, for it speaks to us of God.
St Therese of the Child Jesus wept when she beheld the fragile beauty of a flower and said, “How great is God’s love for us!”
St Francis of Assisi saw the image of the common Creator everywhere around him and called all these things, including fire and water, his brothers and sisters. He even conversed with them in a simple way. He looked upon death itself, as the good sister who was to free him from the slavery of the body and unite him to God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – Monday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The privilege of our Church is such that it is never stronger, than when it is attacked, never better known, than when it is accused, never more powerful, than when it appears forsaken.”
(Treatise on the Trinity)
“The Church is the Ship outside which it is impossible to understand the Divine Word, for Jesus spoke from the boat to the people gathered on the shore.”
“God only knows, how to be love and He only knows, how to be Father. And the one who loves is not envious and one who is Father is so totally. This name does not permit compromises, as if God were only father in some aspects and not in others.”
St Hilary of Poitiers
Father & Doctor of the Church
Our Morning Offering – 24 October – Thursday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)
May I know You and Make You known By St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870) Founder of the Claretian Missionaries
O my God and my Father,
may I know You
and make You known,
and make You loved,
and make You served,
and make all creatures praise You.
Grant, my Father,
that all sinners be converted,
all the just persevere in grace
and all of us
attain to eternal glory.
One Minute Reflection – 15 September – Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 15:1–32 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ ... Luke 15:6
REFLECTION – “Since man’s weakness is incapable of maintaining a firm step in this changing world, the good doctor shows you a remedy against going astray and the merciful judge does not withhold hope of forgiveness. It is not without reason that Saint Luke put forward three parables in succession – the sheep who strayed and was found again; the coin that was lost and found; the son who died and came back to life. This is so that this threefold remedy will urge us to take care of our wounds… The weary sheep is brought back by the shepherd, the lost coin is found, the son turns back and returns to his father, repenting of his waywardness…
Let us rejoice, then, in that this sheep, which went astray in Adam, has been raised up again in Christ. Christ’s shoulders are the arms of the cross, there it is that I have laid down my sins, on that gallows I have found my rest. This “sheep” is one according to its nature but not in personality, since all form a single body composed of many in members. That is why it is written: “You are Christ’s body and individually parts of it,” (1Cor 12:27). “The Son of Man has come to save what was lost” (Lk 19:10), that is to say everyone, since “just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life” (1Cor 15:22)…
Nor, is it irrelevant, that the woman rejoices to have found her coin – it is no small thing, this coin on which is portrayed the image of a prince. In the same way, the good of the Church is the image of the King. We are sheep, let us then pray the Lord to lead us to restful waters (Ps 22:2). We are sheep, let us ask for pasture. We are the coin, let us keep our value. We are sons, let us run to the Father.” … St Ambrose (340-397) – Bishop of Milan, Father & Doctor of the Church – On St Luke’s Gospel, 7, 207 (SC 52)
PRAYER – Look upon us Lord, creator and ruler of the whole world, grant us the grace to serve You with all our heart, that we may come to know, the power of Your forgiveness and love. Our Father, when Jesus Your Son, was raised up on the Cross, it was Your will that Mary, His Mother, should stand there and suffer with Him in her heart. Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ and so be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Be our intercessor and our consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows! We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
Thought for the day – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace
O Eternal Truth, True Love and Beloved Eternity
Saint Augustine of Hippo
Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church
An excerpt from his treatise, The Confessions
Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under Your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so, because You were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: Your immutable light. It was not the ordinary light perceptible to all flesh, nor was it merely something of greater magnitude but still essentially akin, shining more clearly and diffusing itself everywhere by its intensity. No it was something entirely distinct, something altogether different from all these things and it did not rest above my mind as oil on the surface of water, nor was it above me as Heaven is above the Earth. This light was above me because it has made me, I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light.
O Eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To You do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know You, You drew me to Yourself, so that I might see that there were things for me to see but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile, You overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly, the beams of Your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike Yours and far distant from You and I thought I heard Your voice from on high: “I am the food of grown men, grow then and you will feed on Me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food but you will be changed into Me.”
I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy You. But I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever. He was calling me and saying – I am the way of truth, I am the life. He was offering the food which I lacked the strength to take, the food He had mingled with our flesh. For the Word became flesh, that Your wisdom, by which You created all things, might provide milk for us children.
Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved You! You were within me but I was outside and it was there that I searched for You. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which You created. You were with me but I was not with You. Created things kept me from You, yet if they had not been in You they would not have been at all. You called, You shouted and You broke through my deafness. You flashed, You shone and You dispelled my blindness. You breathed Your fragrance on me, I drew in breath and now I pant for You. I have tasted You, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me and I burned for Your peace.